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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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I thank God that we are taking this step because the potential of leadership, for good or for bad, is very great. We see this truth in the life of Jesus. Much of his earthly ministry was devoted to teaching and training disciples and his most severe warnings of future judgement were spoken to religious leaders who twisted the Scriptures and served their own interests.
Jesus himself is the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11) and he is our example, in contrast to the hired man who runs for safety when the wolf attacks (John 10:12). Jesus is also the chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4) to whom all those of us who are entrusted with the care of God’s people will have to give account, but as Anglicans who hold to the historic episcopate, we look especially to our bishops to set wholesome examples as shepherds and overseers of the flock of God.
Read it all.
+ Diocese of Akure, Nigeria dissociates from the Diocese of Liverpool over TEC SSB Bishop appointment (June 6, 2016 at 12:47 pm)
+ Archbishop Okoh’s GAFCON Chairman’s June 2016 Pastoral Letter to the Anglican faithful (June 4, 2016 at 8:00 am)
Primates Gathering 2016 / ACC-16 in Lusaka
+ GAFCON Primates Nairobi Communiqué 2016 (April 22, 2016 at 3:54 am)
+ What did the Lusaka ACC-16 Meeting Decide? Some views (April 21, 2016 at 1:04 pm)
+ ACC-16 Resolutions (April 20, 2016 at 2:51 pm)
+ Kenya 6: [Anglican Ink] Interview: Kenya’s archbishop responds to forgery reports (April 12, 2016 at 3:17 pm )
+ CofE Synod: David Porter Plans July Facilitated Conversations on Sexual Immorality (February 16, 2016 at 8:19 pm
Canon David Porter and his team are introduced by David Walker, Bishop of Manchester - he who thinks portraying Jesus as a transgendered woman is fine in his diocese.
Watch it all or listen here
See also related posts:
+ John Bingham: CofE’s teaching on marriage ‘up for discussion’ to accommodate same-sex couples (February 17, 2016 at 1:32 pm)
+ Archbishops of York and Canterbury: Reply to letter from Jayne Ozanne and co-signatories (February 17, 2016 at 1:14 pm)
Rev. Colin Coward, director of Changing Attitude reports on his conversations with David Porter - from 'A Conversation with Colin Coward 18th April 2015' at St Brides, Liverpool
OK, so that’s what we are stuck with, the Shared Conversations. And I have been arguing amongst the LGBTI Anglican coalition, that we should not simply tolerate what we are being offered, which effectively is a two year delay.
I know from the conversations that we had with David Porter at Lambeth Palace that there is, for him at least, a clear intention that there will be a proper, motioned, discussion at General Synod in February 2017, with the intention of legislating for some kind of change in Church of England practice towards LGBTI people. But it’s going to be what they think they can get away with without upsetting the conservatives too much. So my guess is that it is going to be approval for the blessing of relationships in church, it certainly won’t be for recognising marriage. It certainly will not be for changing the quadruple lock and moving towards allowing equal marriages to take place in Church of England buildings.
Teach us always to keep in mind Thy judgments, and to discourse of them, and own Thee continually as our Lord and Friend. Govern by Thy will the works of our hands; and lead us in the right way, that we may do what is well-pleasing and acceptable to Thee, that through us unworthy Thy holy name may be glorified.
To Thee alone be praise and honor and worship eternally. Amen.
--James Manning,ed., Prayers of the Early Church (Nashville: The Upper Room, 1953)
Opposition to the proposal was strongest among bishops, with 16 voting against and six in favour. Sixty-two percent of lay representatives to the synod voted against it (41 votes to 25), and 55 percent of clergy (42 to 34).
The church includes Anglicans in Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and on the island of St Helena. Same-sex marriage is allowed only under South African civil law.
Before announcing the result, Archbishop Thabo spoke of the “palpable pain” in the church over the vote....
Read it all.
My interest in “episodes” and “moments” derives from my impulse to caution against utopian visions of causes, the belief that this time “we” have invented or devised or worked for a continually energetic movement or achievement. The concept of the “moment” is a reminder that nothing lasts, but that participants in efforts to change, though they do not win, may well be deserving of investment, renewal, revisitation. Only believers in inevitable and enduring progress, or who idolize their own efforts and causes, forget that episodes and moments come and go—for better and/or for worse.
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In reading Kenneth L. Woodward’s “The Democrats’ Methodist Moment” [see there], I am struck by both the views of Hillary Clinton and the observations of Mr. Woodward about the United Methodist Church, other Protestant denominations, the Catholic church and many Jews, and their connection with the progressive Democratic Party’s righteous politics with the attending social-justice traditions.
It’s funny that in an article like this, with all of its religious implications, there is no mention of Jesus Christ, his teachings and place in Christianity. Could it be that’s the reason there are now more “Nones” (people with no religious affiliation) than ever before, and the so-called “Christian church” is in decline? For many reasons, I don’t think that John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, would recognize the United Methodist Church today.
One woman, a television producer based in Vancouver, described how living in such a “progressive and liberal society as Canada has made it apparent to me how far Ireland has to go in terms of women’s rights and politics in general”.What was left unsaid – as has become routine in these discussions – is just how extreme the abortion laws are in some of the supposedly more civilised countries we are being asked to look up to.
In Canada, there are no legal restrictions on abortion whatsoever, allowing terminations up until birth for any reason that doctors are comfortable with.
Contrary to its liberal image, the country is apparently uninterested in transparency when it comes to this legal regime, refusing to collect statistics on the number of late-term abortions....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Children Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Science & Technology * International News & Commentary Australia / NZ Canada England / UK --Ireland * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Bryant is a trim man who wears a Fitbit and works out at Life Time Fitness three or four times a week. It’s one way he copes with the challenges of the job: embalming a child, or someone who’s committed suicide. Once, he worked on a man who’d been shot 54 times. “Dealing with death every day is not for everybody,” he says. “It can be overwhelming.” He takes time off to visit Spain or Morocco with a group of funeral directors (his wife of 33 years is not keen on traveling; his four adult children are out of the house), but he always misses his work.
“I was born to be an embalmer,” Bryant says. “I’ve never been afraid of this. I never struggled with it in school. I picked it up”—he snaps his fingers—“like that. I don’t know what it’s like to have a job; I just get up every day and do something I love to do.”
Read it all (Hat tip:AJ).
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine * Economics, Politics Economy Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Antisemitism is not about Jews. It is about anti-Semites. It is about people who cannot accept responsibility for their own failures and have instead to blame someone else. Historically, if you were a Christian at the time of the Crusades, or a German after the First World War, and saw that the world hadn’t turned out the way you believed it would, you blamed the Jews. That is what is happening today. And I cannot begin to say how dangerous it is. Not just to Jews but to everyone who values freedom, compassion and humanity.
The appearance of antisemitism in a culture is the first symptom of a disease, the early warning sign of collective breakdown. If Europe allows antisemitism to flourish, that will be the beginning of the end of Europe. And what I want to do in these brief remarks is simply to analyze a phenomenon full of vagueness and ambiguity, because we need precision and understanding to know what antisemitism is, why it happens, why antisemites are convinced that they are not antisemitic.
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“In the business world, monopolies are not encouraged; so I do not see why there should be one Anglican service provider in England,” the Revd Lee McMunn said on Wednesday. “Surely we can allow people the option to choose, whether that is future ministers or future members of congregations.”
His Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) church in Scarborough will be the first of hundreds, if the organisation’s church-planting plans are fulfilled. This month, AMiE announced plans to plant 25 churches by 2025, and 250 by 2050. It is seeking to draw up a map of “promising and needy places to plant new gospel churches”, and to recruit people to start AMiE churches and serve as “assistant ministers”. It is also hoping that Anglican churches will form partnerships with AMiE churches, providing money and “mutual training”.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) Global South Churches & Primates * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Theology Christology Ecclesiology Soteriology
Then there is Belgium, where, as reported in NR’s October 10 print issue, a minor was recently euthanized by lethal injection. You might think that, with the suburbs of Brussels having become the de facto capital of the ISIS caliphate (Euro-subdivision) and a birth rate so far below replacement level that native Belgians will soon be a rare anthropological specimen, the good burghers of Flanders and Wallonia would have something better to do than hasten the deaths of teenagers, even when the teenagers in their distress request just that. But if you thought that, then, as Richard Nixon famously said, “That would be wrong.”
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Aging / the Elderly Children Health & Medicine Marriage & Family Psychology Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. Canada * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Secularism * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Today we remember Jerome, translator of the Scriptures. Rembrandt etching of Jerome & lion c.1633-35. [Prints 50/7] pic.twitter.com/jKAB8trIf7— LambethPalaceLibrary (@lampallib) September 30, 2016
Today we remember Jerome, whose translations were crucial to the spread of Christianity and Christian study: https://t.co/3qB3w3N5ZD— Church of England (@c_of_e) September 30, 2016
America was 50th out of 55 countries in 2014, according to a Bloomberg index that assesses life expectancy, health-care spending per capita and relative spending as a share of gross domestic product. Expenditures averaged $9,403 per person, about 17.1 percent of GDP, that year — the most recent for which data are available — and life expectancy was 78.9. Only Jordan, Colombia, Azerbaijan, Brazil and Russia ranked lower.
The U.S. has lagged near the bottom of the Bloomberg Health-Care Efficiency Index since it was created in 2012. Hong Kong and Singapore — consistently at the top — are smaller countries with less diverse populations. Their governments also play a stronger role in regulating and providing care, with spending per capita averaging $2,386 and longevity averaging about 83 years.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Globalization Health & Medicine --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Personal Finance Politics in General * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Deeper Engagement is a collection of around 120 different educational resources from different parts of the Communion. They have been gathered “to help us in our engagement with Scripture,” Mr Lydon said. “Most have been used to great effect already and those responsible for creating them are enthusiastic about sharing them with others in the Communion.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Adult Education Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Theology Seminary / Theological Education Theology: Scripture
The problem is that the Reformation is only really congenial to modern American evangelicalism if it is reduced to little more than the doctrine of justification by grace through faith. The sixteenth-century Reformation was about a whole lot more—and a whole lot that sits uncomfortably with the modern evangelical faith. So, like Bonhoeffer and C. S. Lewis, the Reformers and the Reformation must be bowdlerized, and by a strange domesticating metamorphosis, become modern American evangelicals. The truth is: The priorities and concerns of American evangelicalism have a highly tenuous and ambiguous relationship to those we find embodied in the confessions and catechisms of the Reformation and exemplified in the attitudes and actions of the Reformers.
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Last year he was appointed the first Missioner to the Creative Industries by the Diocese of London. It was just the latest of innovative new appointments that is being made by the Church of England as it seeks out new mission opportunities.
But what does this post of Missioner really entail? Sitting in the heart of Soho, he told me about the vision he has for his strategic role. Surrounded by creatives on every side – London’s arts and media specialists contribute over £70 billion a year to the UK economy – he is very aware of the unusual environment in which he finds himself.
The people he has in his patch include film-makers, actors, designers, advertising executives and many other professionals. But their lifestyles are rather different to the people around them.
Read it all (may require subscription).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Art Religion & Culture Theatre/Drama/Plays Urban/City Life and Issues * International News & Commentary England / UK
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Digital disruption is sweeping through the world’s second-oldest profession — spying — and the UK is repurposing its intelligence services with a £1.5bn annual top-up for security available for the first time this year.
For the Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6, which supplies foreign intelligence, this translates into its biggest ever recruitment drive, with as many as 1,000 new staff over the next four years, a 40 per cent rise.
Read it all.
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Ethics / Moral TheologyComments are closed.
Six in 10 say everyone eventually goes to heaven, but half say only those who believe in Jesus will be saved. And while 7 in 10 say there’s only one true God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—two-thirds say God accepts worship of all faiths.
Those are among the findings of a new survey of American views on Christian theology from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.
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the high-angel's tide in harvest,
Michael, as the multitude know,
five nights after the equinox day.
St Michael, dragon-slayer, guardian of humanity and weigher of souls, was immensely popular in the medieval period, and in this post are four pieces about St Michael by medieval English writers: a Latin sequence by the eighth-century Northumbrian scholar Alcuin; an English homily from c.990 by Ælfric; a prayer in verse by John Lydgate (c.1370–c.1451); and a homily by John Mirk (fl. c.1382–c.1414). Illustrations are from English manuscripts in the British Library and from some churches I've recently visited.
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"The old boundaries are vanishing and, for pastors in some parts of the country, they're almost completely gone," said Vaters, reached by telephone. "That mobile phone is always with you. … Once your church passes 200 members you have to manage things in a different way. You just can't afford to be as accessible to all those church members all of the time."
So what happens today when a member of a congregation rings the pastor's cellphone? Vaters recently addressed that question in a post at Christianity Today's Pivot blog for small-church leaders. The blunt headline: "Why Most Pastors Aren't Answering Your Phone Calls."
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Pastoral Care * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Psychology Religion & Culture Science & Technology * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
You may find more information here.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Culture-Watch Media Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK
I began to think more and more of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, when he describes himself as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Cor. 6:10). He doesn’t say “rejoicing, yet always sorrowful.” It’s rejoicing that’s the constant, even as this leaves plenty of room for sorrow and struggle.
Something would be terribly wrong if we weren’t grieving for this world and those who suffer. But is it okay to be happy when we live in a world of hurt? And beyond that, is it actually God’s calling? Because if God commands us to rejoice, he must empower us to rejoice. He must want us to be happy. That’s what got me interested in God’s happiness. Is God happy? Can he be happy when he sees so much sin in the world, when he knows what his Son endured on his behalf, when he sees the persecution of his people? Can we?
Clearly, the answer is yes.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Books Health & Medicine Psychology Religion & Culture * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the organization has been approved to begin a program on Oct. 19 at Sacramento Elementary School.
Finn Rezz, one of the group’s leaders, says their program focuses “on science and rational thinking,” and it will promote “benevolence and empathy for everybody.”
Read it all.
Ms. Clinton was raised as a Methodist and Mr. Trump as a Presbyterian. (As for their running mates, Tim Kaine is Roman Catholic and Mike Pence is an ex-Catholic turned evangelical Protestant).
What role, if any, will each candidate’s religious views play if she or he must carry out the duties of commander in chief? What role, if any, will religion play in the November election? Or will this become a back-burner issue in the face of unemployment, immigration and the war against terrorism? For many Americans, the separation of church and state, a tenet of our democracy, means religion is of little relevance at the ballot box.
In the ancient world, there was absolutely no distinction between religion and government.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
In response to the news that an agreement has been reached in North Belfast in relation to contested parades, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, joined with the Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Richard Clarke, to express their support for this significant initiative:
"We have been aware that various people and groups have been working hard to reach an agreement which would bring to an end the parading stand-off in North Belfast, a part of the city which has borne economic hardship and carries a heavy legacy from the Troubles. The news of this agreement is to be warmly welcomed and we commend all who have taken risks and found a way to serve the common good in the journey towards a peaceful and reconciled future. Our prayers and continued support are with those who now carry responsibility for making it work."
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) Church of Ireland * Culture-Watch History Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * International News & Commentary England / UK --Ireland * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Limited details about the birth were revealed ahead of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine's scientific congress in Salt Lake City next month, where it will be discussed more fully.
According to critics, the procedure is tantamount to genetic modification of humans or even “playing God”. But supporters say it allows women with a particular type of genetic disease to have healthy children who are related to them.
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The Church in Wales is re-adopting the practice of the early church on admission to Communion – the sharing of bread and wine – in an effort to strengthen ministry to children and young people in particular.
In recent times, people wishing to receive Communion have usually had to have been confirmed first – confirming promises made on their behalf at their baptism as infants.
However, from the First Sunday in Advent – November 27 – everyone who has been baptised will be able to receive Holy Communion. The policy will be rolled out across the parishes and ministry areas over the next year.
Read it all.
Other studies on the rise of the “nones” — those who say they have no religion — have focused on millennials’ changing preferences. This study found that 29 percent of adults who were raised religious and left their faith say they left because of their religion’s negative teachings about gay and lesbian people. Nineteen percent say they left because of clergy sexual-abuse scandals. Sixty percent say they simply do not believe what the religion teaches.
“A lot of the narrative around the rise of the nones, or the rise of the non-affiliated, has focused on how there’s changing cultural preferences, that people are choosing to move away from religion,” said Daniel Cox, one of the researchers on the new study. “I think there’s also a structural part of the story that has not gotten as much attention. We wanted to focus on the way millennials were raised, which is different from any previous generation. And part of that is they’re more likely to have grown up with parents who are divorced.”
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Children History Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sociology * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
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